Sunday, September 25, 2016

Maple Salad Dressing

Submitted by Lanni Brisson
Official Name: Apple, Dried Cherry, and Walnut Salad with Maple Dressing

From: Mountain Town Station Brewing Company and Steakhouse, Mount Pleasant, MI

Yield: Makes 6 servings

Maple Dressing ingredients:
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3 tbls Champagne vinegar or other white wine vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Maple Dressing instructions: 
Whisk all ingredients but oil to blend.  Gradually whisk in oil until mixture thickens slightly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  (Can be prepared 3 days in advance, cover and refrigerate and re-whisk before using)

Salad ingredients:
(1) 5oz bag of mixed baby greens (about 10 cups lightly packed)
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into matchstick-size strips
1/2 cup dried tart cherries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

Salad instructions:
Toss greens, apples, and 1/4 cup of walnuts in large bowl. Toss with enough dressing to coat.  Divide salad equally among plates and sprinkle with the remaining walnuts.

Notes: You may decide to leave the walnuts on the side in case of nut allergies

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Chicken Cordon Rouge

Created by Casey Van Camp

Ingredients / tools:
2 boneless chicken breasts
smash them
8 slices of your choice of cheese. (we like fresh mozzarella)
12 slices of black forest ham
8 pieces of roasted red peppers
Panko or Italian Breading
(makes 4 servings)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
2. Cut each breast in half (fillet style).  Take a piece and lay it on a cutting board and cover the piece with plastic wrap.  Use a mallet (smooth side) to flatten out the chicken which will make it easier to roll.  Repeat with each piece of chicken
3. Sprinkle salt and pepper onto the chicken breasts
4. Place 2 slices of cheese, then 3 slices of ham, then 2 roasted red pepper slices on each breast.
5. Roll up the breasts and secure with toothpicks (3 to 4 should be ok)
6. Place the breasts on a cooking sheet which has been sprayed to avoid sticking
7. Generously sprinkle Panko breading on each of the breasts
8. Cook for 40 min or until the chicken is cooked through

Notes: We also like using Pepper Jack cheese

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Chocolate Moose

Submitted by Marcia Van Camp

Today I had to make chocolate moose for a large group of people and most recipes I came across were fairly complicated or required the moose to sit overnight.

This is my easy moose recipe, there might be better ones out there, but I have always gotten smiles and requests for seconds with this one.

Hershey's Syrup (24 oz)
1 quart heavy whipping cream
Cool Whip or similar (optional)

1. Mix the syrup and whipping cream together in a good blender.  I have a Ninja blender which worked really well.  I had the blender on a low setting for less than a minute and the moose was well mixed and dense.  I have also used a Magic Bullet for smaller portions which has worked well in the past.

2. If you want your moose to be darker / have more chocolate, you can add more syrup, but I would taste as you go, because it's pretty sweet already.

3. Keep refrigerated until you are ready to serve.  If it gets too soupy you can even blend it again if needed, but I have never had to do that.  You can also add a little whipped cream to the top, or maybe a cookie, which is tasty and cute.  My cookie of choice is a Thin Mint, but it's rare that I would have any around the house that I was willing to part with!

4. This yields about 6 cups of moose, and since it's rich, smaller portions work very well.  These are the dishes I like to use, and they are less than 3 oz.

Magic Bullet directions

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Oreo Cheesecake

Submitted by Marcia Van Camp
Inspired by:

24 Oreo Cookies
3 Tbl butter melted (I used unsalted)
3 (250g) packages of cream cheese softened (I use Philly)
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs

Special Instructions: 
1. I lined the bottom of the pan with parchment paper to avoid sticking.  If you don't know how to do this, there are a lot of great videos online.

2. My cheesecake had large cracks in it when it came out of the oven, and I look up ways to fix it. The best method was getting a spatula a little wet and smoothing over the cracks.  This could have been easily covered up with some decorations but I still would like to avoid it in the future.  I have seen a few things online about giving the cake a "water bath" basically cooking it with water surrounding it, so I may try that next time and see if it makes a difference.

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Crush 16 cookies which will become the crust.  The original directions say to do this in a bag but I found it very messy because a lot of the cookies stuck to the inside of the bag.  I had better luck with putting the cookies in a bowl and crushing them with a drinking glass. The method doesn't really matter, as long as they get crushed!

2. Place crushed cookies in bowl. Add butter; mix well (a small spoon works fine). Press firmly onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan.

3. Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Chop or crush remaining 8 cookies. Stir the cookies into the batter. (I was supposed to keep some out for decorating the top, but I just put them all in the batter)

4. Bake 45 min. or until center is almost set. Cool and refrigerate 3 hours or overnight. After eating more than you probably should...Store leftover cheesecake in refrigerator.

Notes: It would also be fun to make mini cheesecakes with this recipe in cupcake pans but I think you would need more crushed Oreos for the crusts.  On the other hand, you could just buy the Oreo thins and split them up and use those without crushing anything.   I think I would drizzle some chocolate sauce over this next time or put some whole Oreos or even a few strawberries in the middle for decoration.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Irish Chocolate Potato Cake

Submitted by Marcia Van Camp

Inspired by This is a really cool website and has some other fun facts about the recipe.

You read the title correctly, there are really potatoes in this chocolate cake and it's a really, REALLY good cake, so take a chance and try it out!

No pictures for now because we ate it too fast!

  • 1/2 lb unsalted butter
  • 2 1/3 cups / 1 pound granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 9 rounded tablespoons grated chocolate (I used about 1 ½ bars of Ghirardelli’s milk chocolate baking bars)
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa (I used dark chocolate)
  • 1 cup cooked and mashed potato (cooled, do not add hot or warm)
  • 2 1/2 cups flour  
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 rounded teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup milk (I used whole milk)

Bundt pan Directions: (I didn’t use this method)
For preparing the pan you'll bake in:
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa
First prepare your cake pan. A tube pan like a Bundt pan works best for this recipe: but a springform cake pan works fine too.

If using a tube pan or Bundt pan, butter it well inside, paying particular attention to any flutings or crevices in the pan. Then mix the flour and cocoa together and use this mixture to flour the inside of the pan.

Springform pan Directions:
If using a springform pan, butter it too: then line it with a circle of buttered baking parchment for the bottom and a strip of buttered baking parchment for the sides.

This is the method I used because I couldn’t find my Bundt pan.  It was yummy, but I think the Bundt has a better shape for presentation.

Here is a video which might help:

Cake Directions:
·        Preheat the oven to 350° F. Then prepare the cake batter:

·         Grate the chocolate on a fine grater, or pulse in a food processor, or crush with a mortar and pestle, until reduced to small granules. The food processor is by far the easiest and fastest way: the grater and mortar-and-pestle are more labor intensive, but produce a slightly finer result. (I did it by hand and it took a while and because it was milk chocolate it was messy.  Next time I think I will try the food processor).

·         When this is done, sift the flour once by itself. Then sift it a second time with the cinnamon, baking powder and salt.

·         Cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. (Mine wasn’t light and fluffy but it looked mixed!)

·         Separate the eggs. Add the yolks, one at a time, to the creamed mixture, beating well after each one.

·         Stir in the grated chocolate, ground almonds (optional) and cocoa. Add the potato and stir again.

·         Add the flour alternately with the milk, beating gently until smooth after each addition.

·         When this process is complete, whip the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold the whipped egg whites carefully into the cake mixture.

·         Spoon into the prepared springform pan or Bundt pan / tube pan: tap gently once on the counter to settle. Bake for 1 3/4 hours. Test for doneness with a toothpick or skewer at the end of this time: bake for another 15 minutes if needed.

·         Remove from the oven and allow to rest in the pan for at least twenty minutes before removing from the pan: then cool on a rack.

·         To finish, you could dust with confectioners' sugar but I chose to drizzle some chocolate over it.
I used the fudge sauce from this recipe, and I only needed about ½ but I put the rest in the freezer and it’s been nice to have it ready to go for other desserts.

1.       The original recipe has you sieve the potatoes, but I didn’t really know how and I didn’t have time to do it. The end result was that I had tiny, very tiny lumps in my cake, but I actually liked them because they made it seem like there were soft little nuts in there.  I am sure the cake is awesome with sieving BUT it’s not a deal breaker.

2.       The original recipe calls for 5 rounded Tbls ground almonds but I excluded them in case of nut allergies.  After tasting the cake, I think that almonds would be really good and I want to try them next time. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Shortbread Cookies

11/19/2015 Submitted by Marcia Van Camp

2 cups butter, softened
1 cup of white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy, and then stir in the vanilla.
3. Add flour and salt and mix well
4. Roll out cookie dough and cut cookie
5. Bake for 10-12 min

Notes: This recipe was on the package for these cute cut-out cookies that I bought at World Market. I looked on their site but I don't think they have the recipe online.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Zesty Burger

11/16/2015 submitted by Casey Van Camp

1 pound hamburger
1 cup hidden valley avocado ranch (Ranch, 1/2 avocado blended until smooth)
2 tbs lemon juice
3 tbs paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp onion powder
1 medium onion chopped finely
1/2 tsp black pepper, garlic, celery salt
2 tsp sea salt

Add all ingredients and mix well into meat.  Form patties and cook them as desired. 

Top with Mushrooms, mexican cheese, avocado slices.  This would also be great on a whole wheat bagel